Monday, January 02, 2012

Keeping costs down- electricity

The utility company started a users fee a few months ago.
Seems to be common in rural electric.

Since we have two poles- one for the house and the other for the barn
We have two users fees.
In order to have electricity flow to the property we pay $55 a month
The electric company also got a jump in prices last month

We have electric heat and cooling

OW!

Changes for the good are in order.
1. We bought styrofoam insulation boards to put in all of the downstairs windows.
Cut to size. They block the cold and lets heat rise.
If we are in the basement during the day, we take it down for natural light.

2. At the end of last season we bought some insulated curtains.
We don't have curtains on our house normally.
they are up in all upstairs windows- closed tightly at night.

3. We close everything that can be closed.
Doors to room, closets, cupboards, drawers

4. A small oil heater is used in the livingroom.
At night we move it to the hall, which keeps the core of the house warm.

5. Cooking and cleaning happen before 3 pm and after 9 pm.
We also warm the house before 6 am or after 9am.
Our electricity rate almost doubles from 4-8:30 pm and from 7-9am

6. Close vents in the bathrooms and extra rooms.

7. A blanket is over the stairs by the front door.
When we open the door for the dogs to go out the blanket prevents a ton of heat loss.
We are considering adding an unheated entry area next year by putting up wood on the front porch.

8. We open and close curtains with the passing of the sun. Natural light is always preferred.
Solar lights are used outside. They are carefully cleaned off after each snow.

9. Wash clothes on non rainy days after 9 am.
Clothes dry on the line, but are in the basket before the sun goes down.
They go into the dryer at 9 pm if they are not dry (or froze on the line).
Believe it or not, Kansas has few days when it is cloudy all day.

10. Wearing slippers, sweatshirts and taking a hot bath mid day round out the list.

6 comments:

Bob Lowry said...

You have really shown how many ways there are to save electricity, even in a cold climate in the winter.

Our electric rates triple from 9AM-9PM on weekdays. Morning showers occur by 8:30AM so the hot water heater doesn't run much after 9. Laundry is saved for weekends and the dishwasher runs after 9 at night.

We have insulated curtains that are used in the summer to help keep the sun and heat out. In the winter, we only need heat for the first hour or two after waking up and then it is off most days.

Winter time temperatures are generally in the 60's and 70's so this is the time of year we have our lowest bills. But come summer......

ancient one said...

Wow..you are really on top of things. I remember doing all kinds of things during the Carter years. We even put in a wood heater. I loved the heat, but one night it caught fire in the walls. We still have electric heat, but we don't use it. We had a gas heating system installed after the fire. Praying for a warmer winter...

Janette said...

I had to learn to do the opposite of what I learned growing up in Phoenix. What has changed is the triple rates. Amazing. I do miss Flagstaff. The propane was predictable and electricity was minimal.

Bob Lowry said...

It was amazing when we were in Flagstaff over Christmas. There were piles of snow on yards and street corners and it snowed overnight. The temperatures were no higher than 25. But by noon the streets were clear and dry because the sun is so intense.

b said...

I might also add we need to be careful to allow a certain amount of fresh air in our homes. Contamination my our own breath can make air quality very poor. I have been in China where air quality if very poor but I know people that found the quality of the air in their homes was much worse than outside. It is just a thought Jannette!

b

Janette said...

Bob- that was the great part of living in Flagstaff for almost 10 years. We would wear coats to school---and then t shirts home. Cross Country ran year round.

B- Good point about the air. I open the windows daily when the sun is hitting the front windows. No matter where we have lived we opened at least one window for at least an hour every day. But when we visited China and we could see the air----we depended on the air conditioner to bring in air - even in the winter.